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house Bill H.R. 1957

Modernizing the IRS With the Taxpayer First Act

Argument in favor

This commonsense, bipartisan bill would modernize the IRS for the first time in decades by improving the independent appeals process, taxpayers services, and enforcement.

Linda's Opinion
···
04/09/2019
Good. Maybe now the IRS will be able to see through #45’s lifetime of tax evasion.
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Hillary's Opinion
···
04/09/2019
I’ve just read some more about this. It appears that the IRS has a free program to electronically file one’s taxes. This bill, while containing many great things, would essentially sign a “no compete” clause with companies like the one that owns Turbo Tax thus giving those for profit companies a giant boost. They have a proviso that certain income levels would be allowed to file for free but that group is bound to get screwed over by these big businesses.
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Ron's Opinion
···
04/07/2019
The IRS cannot be left to the ravages of an ancient set of computers (ancient in today's world is measured in less-than-a-decade increments). There may be reasons this particular bill doesn't make sense (I haven't studied it in detail) but generally what I'm aware of is that most of government is running on obsolete hardware and software. Just for security reasons alone, this must be corrected.
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Argument opposed

Lawmakers in Congress from both sides of the aisle should leave the IRS alone, it may not be perfect but there’s no need for this sweeping of a modernization.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
04/09/2019
Edit: having researched this bill some more, I have changed my mind. This bill bans the development of FreeFile and enshrines the tax preparation industry as the holders of all electronic tax filing code. I heartily disapprove of that. This bill is pushing the burden of tax paperwork off onto private companies. Tax collection shouldn’t be privatized. That path is rife with abuse as plenty of history has shown. Whether I pay more or less in taxes aside, I WANT A EASIER TAX PROCESS! I don’t know why we “the citizens” have to file anything anymore anyway. The government already gets all the information. Why do we still do it? The IRS has pretty much all of the information they need to fill out our tax return, so why don’t they just send us a partly or fully completed return for our review? I want something like the return free filing system they have in Spain. I mean, we already don’t do our property taxes ourselves? So why income? You’d figure typical deficit-hawk conservatives would be happy to save the money the IRS wastes every year confronting the American taxpayer’s inability to subtract correctly. And in fact Ronald Reagan himself endorsed return-free filing in 1985. The likely reason for the resistance is that the proposed set-up would make tax “simplification” —lopping off upper tax brackets, mainly—a much harder sell. If you’re trying to paint U.S. taxation as hopelessly burdensome, the last thing you want to see is the IRS transformed into an agency that just mails Americans a refund check automatically every year. Meanwhile, special-interest groups are in the trenches trying to shoot down return-free pilot plans. In 2005, California adopted a program called ReadyReturn, which allows qualified residents to opt for a pre-completed tax return rather than fill out their own. The state estimates that the new process has saved millions a year in prep fees and about a half a mil in government administrative costs, and taxpayers who’ve used the service are overwhelmingly pleased. Thing is, not many Californians take advantage of it—in 2012, only 90,000 out of the approximately one million eligible—and officials complain they've had a hard time getting the word out. That’s because software manufacturer Intuit, the maker of the prep app TurboTax, wants it that way: according to a 2013 investigation by the nonprofit journalism outfit ProPublica, the company spent more than $3 million in lobbying and campaign contributions between 2005 and 2009 fighting ReadyReturn. Intuit didn’t manage to kill the program outright, but the state’s budget for marketing it was cut to a dinky $10,000. Perhaps wary of incurring the deep-pocketed wrath of Big Tax-Prep and its pseudo-“small-government” allies, other states have seemingly been in no big hurry to follow California’s example. But the dream remains alive in D.C.—last April, Elizabeth Warren became the latest senator to propose (doomed) legislation introducing return-free filing. Somehow, I don’t see a lot of progress on this front any time soon. Being evidently opposed to paying any taxes at all, our president seems unlikely to expend much effort on making it simpler to do.
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Boris's Opinion
···
04/09/2019
Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax. https://www.propublica.org/article/congress-is-about-to-ban-the-government-from-offering-free-online-tax-filing-thank-turbotax#160011
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trettels's Opinion
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04/09/2019
This bill prohibits the IRS from implementing its own free e-file system, leaving in place the free options from tax preparation companies such as Intuit’s TurboTax. However, these companies use misleading language throughout the process to try to convince the tax filer that they need to pay for the upgraded versions. Making this situation the only possibility is a terrible idea.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMarch 28th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1957?

This bill — the Taxpayer First Act — would aim to modernize the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) information technology systems, infrastructure, and services to improve taxpayers’ experience with the agency. It would codify an independent appeals process for taxpayers, bolster enforcement of tax laws, and reform the tax court.

Independent Appeals Process

This section would codify the IRS Independent Office of Appeals into law and provide for additional congressional oversight over decisions to withhold taxpayers from the administrative review process. The IRS had been required to establish an independent appeals process, but after doing so increasingly withheld certain taxpayers from accessing the review process.

The IRS would be required to provide taxpayers with their case file prior to the start of any dispute resolution process. Under current law taxpayers have to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to access their file.

Improved Service

The IRS would be required to develop and submit to Congress a comprehensive customer service strategy which addresses how the IRS will assist taxpayers, which will include metrics and benchmarks for measuring success.

The existing Free File Program, which offers free tax preparation software from private sector businesses and electronically fillable forms, would be codified into law. Programs providing free tax return assistance for low-income populations, persons with disabilities, taxpayers with limited English proficiency, and other underserved communities would be permanently -- rather than temporarily -- funded with matching grants.

Sensible Enforcement

The IRS would have to show probable cause that funds believed to have been structured to avoid Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements were derived from an illegal source or connected to criminal activity before seizing those funds. A post-seizure hearing would have to occur within 30 days of the seizure. If it’s determined that the funds and interest should be returned, the interest would be exempt from income tax.

The IRS would only be permitted to deem seized property as “perishable” if it’s liable to perish, as current law allows it to be so deemed if the property would lose value by being kept or can’t be kept without great expense. That leads to property being sold without minimum bid requirements and for significantly less than could be received at auction.

A taxpayer under audit would have to be notified by an IRS employee before the IRS initiates third party contacts during the audit. Currently this notice typically occurs at the beginning of an audit, early enough that it doesn’t function as a notice of impending contact.

It would be prohibited for a person other than an IRS officer or employee from examining books, records, and witness testimony as part of an examination other than when serving as an expert.

Cyber Security & Identity Protection

Recent IRS efforts aimed at combating identity theft tax refund fraud (IDTTRF) through public-private partnerships would be codified into law. Recommendations by the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee to address the threat of IDTTRF.

The IRS would also participate in an IDTTRF information sharing and analysis center (ISAC) with state and private sector partners. Limited return information could be shared, such as IP address and the speed at which the return was filed, with paid return preparers who are members of the ISAC.

Modernization

The IRS would require individuals filing 10 or more returns would be required to file them electronically, with the requirement phased in between 2021 and 2024 (the current threshold for this requirement is 250 returns). All tax-exempt organizations that are required to file annual returns would have to submit them electronically. The IRS would be allowed to directly accept credit and debit card payments for taxes as long as the fee is paid by the taxpayer.

The IRS would be required to develop and implement an IT strategic plan in alignment with the IRS’s overall goals to ensure adequate consideration and planning for the IRS’s long-term IT needs. Robust and secure online accounts for taxpayers and their preparers would have to be developed by 2023 in order to supplement (not replace) other taxpayer services offered by the IRS, in addition to an internet portal for filing Forms 1099.

The Office of the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) issues Taxpayer Advocate Directives (TADs), and this bill would strengthen TADs by requiring the IRS Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner to respond within a specified timeframe. Any TADs not honored by the IRS would have to be reported to Congress. The IRS Oversight Board, which has been ineffective because of the lack of a quorum for a few years, would be permanently eliminated.

Tax Court

Judges in the Tax Court would be subject to the same grounds for disqualification as judges of other federal courts to ensure independence and impartiality. The judicial terminology of “opinion”, “judgment”, and “magistrate judges” used by other federal courts would be adopted by the Tax Court to provide greater clarity. References in current law to the Board of Tax Appeals would be eliminated as they’re “deadwood” (ie obsolete).

Impact

Taxpayers; the IRS; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1957

In the 115th Congress, the CBO and JCT estimated that on net, this bill would increase deficits by $52 million over the period 2019-2028.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to reform the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In a joint statement with original cosponsor Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX)Rep. Lewis said: 

"The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have carefully and thoughtfully developed this legislation over several years, after numerous hearings and roundtables, in a bipartisan, bicameral manner. The goal of the legislation is to modernize the IRS, putting taxpayers first.  The commonsense provisions in this bill will protect low-income taxpayers, provide sensible enforcement reforms, and ensure the IRS provides taxpayers and small businesses the assistance they deserve."

Rep. Kelly added

"The IRS is one of the few federal agencies that has a constant relationship with Americans throughout their livesUnfortunately, over the years that relationship has become one of fear and distrust. We can restore Americans’ faith and trust in the IRS by ensuring that the agency is acting as an advocate and meeting the needs of taxpayers."

After this bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kelly said

"The bipartisan support these bills have received is a notable win for all Americans and a proud moment for this committee. Today was a giant step toward two long-standing goals of mine: to reform the tax code to help and incentivize Americans to prepare for retirement, and to reform the IRS for the first time in decades to reorient its mission as a service-first agency."

In a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Finance Committee Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) praised this bill as "truly a bipartisan package that adopts provisions authored by committee members on both sides of the aisle of the House and the Senate."

Last Congress, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) introduced this bill to modernize the IRS:

“I ran for Congress to reform our broken tax code and I am honored to have played a part in the most significant tax reform in 30 years. However, tax reform was only half of our promise. Our attention must now turn to modernizing the IRS and improving the taxpayer experience. As a CPA, I know from experience the IRS can be very frustrating to deal with. I am proud of the work this subcommittee has done to advance this initiative in a bipartisan fashion. The IRS reform bill we are releasing today will be a giant step forward in improving the taxpayer experience.”

In the 115th Congress, Rep. Lewis, who was an original cosponsor of this bill, added:

“The Oversight Subcommittee took our time and conducted thoughtful, bipartisan work to improve taxpayer administration. We held eight public hearings and hosted five roundtable discussions on many of the legislative proposals included in this draft bill. As a result, this is the first time in many years that we will have a bipartisan taxpayer services bill ready for Tax Day. Unfortunately, the bill does not repeal the private debt collection program, but it makes good progress in protecting low- and middle-income taxpayers from harassment and abuse. Overall, this experience reminds me of the way that our Committee used to function, and it was wonderful. We produced a serious, thoughtful bill that puts the taxpayer first. I am proud of the process and product, and I hope that we will maintain the bipartisan spirit throughout Committee and Floor consideration.”

Americans for Tax Reform expressed its support for this bill in the 115th Congress: 

"Reforms that safeguard the American people against abuse from IRS career bureaucrats [are] long overdue. The Taxpayer First Act is an excellent first step in reforming and modernizing the troubled agency and should be supported by all members of Congress."

Jay Starkman, CPA argues that this bill doesn't address the major issues facing the IRS, chief of which is underfunding: 

"Congress is again proposing to modernize and reform the IRS. This is timely, but it fails to address the root problem facing the IRS: inadequate funding. Two related major problems are poor taxpayer service and outdated technology. The IRS generally has good management, but it is hamstrung by massive underfunding... Congress keeps reducing the IRS appropriation as the workload increases and complex new tax laws must be implemented.... IRS employment is less than 80,000, down from almost 117,000 in 1992. Except for IT, the IRS has had a hiring freeze for seven years. Thus, just 3,000 employees are under age 30, making it a challenge to find the next generation of IRS managers and executives. For comparison, in their U.S. offices alone, EY, KPMG, PwC, and Deloitte each have more than 50,000 employees with much higher average salaries. The IRS budget is further strained from implementing new complex tax laws, employing bilingual agents, and translating forms and publications. E-filing has not brought the efficiency to warrant a reduced IRS budget. Filing and account services that cost $1.6 billion in 2013 consumed $1.8 billion in 2017. [Current bills] do very little to address the issues that have recently plagued the IRS — not the severe budget constraints; not the Lerner scandal; not a good fix for the defunct IRS Oversight Board. Many of the bills’ provisions are recommendations of the national taxpayer advocate, but many more of her recommendations have been ignored... Tax professionals have urged Congress to provide adequate funding for the IRS far in excess of a stingy $11 billion-$12 billion so that it can modernize its ancient technology and hire adequate staff... The IRS is America’s favorite Public Enemy No. 1, yet we couldn’t exist as a nation without it. Proper funding can make the IRS easier to deal with. Congress might even get fewer complaints from constituents."

Writing in Politico after this bill passed the House in the 115th Congress, Joseph Bankman, a professor of law and business at Stanford Law School; Daniel Hemel, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School; and Dennis Ventry, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law, argued that this bill hurts a long-term goal of having the federal government offer a robust free filing option for taxes

"[Although] the bill is titled the 'Taxpayer First Act,'...  the provision codifying Free File puts tax-preparation companies first and taxpayers last. And beyond the title, the text of the statute is amazingly sly. To understand the bill’s impact on the IRS’ ability to offer its own free tax preparation tool and to support state-funded options, the user would need to refer to pages 5 and 15 of the latest 24-page memorandum of understanding between the IRS and the tax preparation companies. When legislation hides the ball like that, you know that something is awry. So far, industry lobbyists have succeeded in advancing their anti-taxpayer agenda without attracting much notice. The Taxpayer First Act passed the House in April without a single dissenting vote. The provision that locked the flawed Free File arrangement in place was bundled with a number of other measures to modernize the IRS and reform the enforcement process, and some House members who voted for the bill may have done so because they supported the other elements of the legislation and did not fully appreciate its effect on free tax preparation tools. But even after an exposé by the nonprofit investigative organization ProPublica and the digital news site Quartz in June 2018 shed light on the bill’s buried provisions, only one lawmaker—Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts—publicly denounced the bid to block the IRS from offering its own free product... The codification of Free File in the Taxpayer First Act and the extended ban on pre-populated returns in the appropriations bill are steps in precisely the wrong direction. Instead of barring the IRS from offering its own Free File alternative, Congress should direct the agency to provide taxpayers with free online tax preparation and filing software... Meanwhile, senators should insist that the Taxpayer First Act be amended so that the bill doesn’t freeze Free File in place, and they should ensure that the ban on pre-populated returns is stricken from the 2019 appropriations bill. The tax preparation industry will no doubt pour millions of dollars into efforts to kill these measures. And there is no pro-simplification lobby to oppose them: No one profits from making it truly free for you to file your taxes each year. But ultimately, H&R Block and Intuit do not get to vote—taxpayers do. Once voters start calling their senators and representatives to demand meaningful tax filing reform, lawmakers will realize that supporters of easier tax filing far outnumber opponents. And if members of Congress can be convinced that siding with the tax preparation industry will lead to negative electoral consequences, millions of Americans may finally find that filing taxes is as simple as sending a postcard."

This bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee with the support of  16 bipartisan cosponsors, including nine Democrats and seven Republicans, in the 116th Congress. A Senate version (S. 928) has been introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) with the support of one cosponsor, Rep. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

In the 115th Congress, this legislation passed the House unanimously with the support of four bipartisan cosponsors evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. However, it didn't receive a Senate vote.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: alfexe / iStock)

AKA

Taxpayer First Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modernize and improve the Internal Revenue Service, and for other purposes.

    Good. Maybe now the IRS will be able to see through #45’s lifetime of tax evasion.
    Like (39)
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    Edit: having researched this bill some more, I have changed my mind. This bill bans the development of FreeFile and enshrines the tax preparation industry as the holders of all electronic tax filing code. I heartily disapprove of that. This bill is pushing the burden of tax paperwork off onto private companies. Tax collection shouldn’t be privatized. That path is rife with abuse as plenty of history has shown. Whether I pay more or less in taxes aside, I WANT A EASIER TAX PROCESS! I don’t know why we “the citizens” have to file anything anymore anyway. The government already gets all the information. Why do we still do it? The IRS has pretty much all of the information they need to fill out our tax return, so why don’t they just send us a partly or fully completed return for our review? I want something like the return free filing system they have in Spain. I mean, we already don’t do our property taxes ourselves? So why income? You’d figure typical deficit-hawk conservatives would be happy to save the money the IRS wastes every year confronting the American taxpayer’s inability to subtract correctly. And in fact Ronald Reagan himself endorsed return-free filing in 1985. The likely reason for the resistance is that the proposed set-up would make tax “simplification” —lopping off upper tax brackets, mainly—a much harder sell. If you’re trying to paint U.S. taxation as hopelessly burdensome, the last thing you want to see is the IRS transformed into an agency that just mails Americans a refund check automatically every year. Meanwhile, special-interest groups are in the trenches trying to shoot down return-free pilot plans. In 2005, California adopted a program called ReadyReturn, which allows qualified residents to opt for a pre-completed tax return rather than fill out their own. The state estimates that the new process has saved millions a year in prep fees and about a half a mil in government administrative costs, and taxpayers who’ve used the service are overwhelmingly pleased. Thing is, not many Californians take advantage of it—in 2012, only 90,000 out of the approximately one million eligible—and officials complain they've had a hard time getting the word out. That’s because software manufacturer Intuit, the maker of the prep app TurboTax, wants it that way: according to a 2013 investigation by the nonprofit journalism outfit ProPublica, the company spent more than $3 million in lobbying and campaign contributions between 2005 and 2009 fighting ReadyReturn. Intuit didn’t manage to kill the program outright, but the state’s budget for marketing it was cut to a dinky $10,000. Perhaps wary of incurring the deep-pocketed wrath of Big Tax-Prep and its pseudo-“small-government” allies, other states have seemingly been in no big hurry to follow California’s example. But the dream remains alive in D.C.—last April, Elizabeth Warren became the latest senator to propose (doomed) legislation introducing return-free filing. Somehow, I don’t see a lot of progress on this front any time soon. Being evidently opposed to paying any taxes at all, our president seems unlikely to expend much effort on making it simpler to do.
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    Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax. https://www.propublica.org/article/congress-is-about-to-ban-the-government-from-offering-free-online-tax-filing-thank-turbotax#160011
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    I’ve just read some more about this. It appears that the IRS has a free program to electronically file one’s taxes. This bill, while containing many great things, would essentially sign a “no compete” clause with companies like the one that owns Turbo Tax thus giving those for profit companies a giant boost. They have a proviso that certain income levels would be allowed to file for free but that group is bound to get screwed over by these big businesses.
    Like (17)
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    This bill prohibits the IRS from implementing its own free e-file system, leaving in place the free options from tax preparation companies such as Intuit’s TurboTax. However, these companies use misleading language throughout the process to try to convince the tax filer that they need to pay for the upgraded versions. Making this situation the only possibility is a terrible idea.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    The IRS cannot be left to the ravages of an ancient set of computers (ancient in today's world is measured in less-than-a-decade increments). There may be reasons this particular bill doesn't make sense (I haven't studied it in detail) but generally what I'm aware of is that most of government is running on obsolete hardware and software. Just for security reasons alone, this must be corrected.
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    One thing I would like to see added to this is a complete overhaul of the tax return system. The IRS does not need us to file our taxes. They know how much we paid and what we owe or are owed. Frankly, it would be more efficient for them to just send us a document to review and update if needed than to have us file, then they check our work. Intuit and other tax preparation companies have blocked this for decades and frankly, to hell with them. Let’s make government work for the people instead of for the dollar.
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    Yes pass the tax payer first act. We need all of the loopholes closed. It's time congress does things to help the average person. Their hardware & software needs to be updated.
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    The tax payer is the boss. Politicians are the employees. Fire all lobbyists. Vote out all the politicians who support a tyrant for president. Keep them honest, get Bureaucratic red tape out of politics. The money flowing through each of these parties can be better used to serve the people.
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    I like my free tax filing. No thanks.
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    👍🏻👍🏻 “LEWIS” House Bill H.R 1957 AKA “Taxpayer First Act” 👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in strong agreement with and recommend the passage of “LEWIS” House Bill H.R 1957 AKA the “Taxpayer First Act” which would aim to modernize the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) information technology systems, infrastructure, and services to improve taxpayers’ experience with the agency. It would codify an independent appeals process for taxpayers, bolster enforcement of tax laws, and reform the tax court. This commonsense, bipartisan bill would modernize the IRS for the first time in decades by improving the independent appeals process, taxpayers services, and enforcement. I’m rarely in agreement with Representative LEWIS, but do on this LEGISLATIVE BILL. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻H.R.1951👍🏻👍🏻. 4*8*19.....
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    Most of these reforms are good. However, a part of this bill that’s deeply troubling is that it prevents the IRS from creating its own free filing program! This is a disgrace and an obvious giveaway to tax preparation companies! The IRS needs to offer a free filing program that’s not tied to tax preparation companies. Taxpayers should be able to file their taxes easily and for free without any strings attached.
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    I support reforming the IRS and making it more customer oriented, but there is one BIG problem with this bill. It does not create a free tax filing option for all taxpayers, and it requires most taxpayers to have to pay for a professional filing service. A bill that truly puts the American taxpayer first would not solidify into law a requirement for any American to have to pay for a third party filing system. Give Americans the ability to file directly with the IRS themselves for free, along with the other reforms listed in this bill.
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    Vote yes on modernizing the IRS per this bill.
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    I support all provisions of this bill with one HUGE exception: the IT provisions should require the IRS to develop a government free federal tax e-file system to eliminate the middleman between the taxpayers and the IRS.
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    The IRS is probably the least trustworthy, most disdainful, government agencies. ANY help, will be better for ALL Americans. Including the top 1%, and of course The Pussydent!
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    “Limited information sharing”, 52 million dollars to the deficit, REQUIRES any one with 10 or more businesses to file online-The IRS has already shown they can be weaponized against conservatives, putting anything electronic makes it more vulnerable and again adding more to the backs of the taxpayers. No more!
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    Obama used the IRS against the conservatives. Don’t trust IRS or Democrats. No more bills cut spending.
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    Originally I had supported this bill, I thought it was a great idea on the surface, but as I had dug into it more, I began to uncover some very troubling things in the “fine print”. Essentially, the Taxpayer First Act is not an effort to “modernize the IRS” as the bill and Countable says; it’s in fact, an underhanded way to screw over the American people, allowing corporations like Intuit and H&R Block to monetize and monopolize our taxes and tax season even more than they already do. The government (IRS) has EVERYTHING they need to just send us a message saying, “Hey, you owe ‘x’ amount this year.” Or, “Hey, you’re getting back ‘y’ amount this year.” But they don’t. They outsource our private information to companies whose singular goal is to suck as much money from us as possible. To quote Popular Science: “Tucked away in section 1102 of the bill, which relates to the IRS Free File Program that ensures fee-free filing for people under a certain income threshold, is language that subtly prevents the IRS for developing its own system by mandating that the agency continue to work with the private sector in this endeavor. In other words, the legislation locks us all into the status quo.” Also, less than 3% of people even qualify for the Free File program, which is already shrouded behind shady advertisements and practices trying to cover it up and direct you towards more “premium” tax filing programs. Of course, to fix this would require that we invest a little in the IRS, but if we follow a model like that of Finland or Norway, our tax season would be a beautiful, practically automated breeze, and maybe even something to look forward to, instead of shy away from. To summarize: Yes! We should be doing our best to eliminate loopholes, modernize the IRS’s hardware and software. We should be creating secure firewalls and open-source, high quality code so that we are further protected from hacking and theft at all levels of government! To fix our problems requires not just common sense changes, but forward thinking and teamwork, which will serve us much better in the end anyway! Finally, under no circumstances should Congress be trying to make secretive, underhanded plays in the “fine print” of a bill! That’s just not cool (but not surprising, unfortunately). Congress (and our government, by extension) should be doing their best to protect the American people from companies who would prey on us, not serve us and our private information on a silver platter! ‘Nuff said!
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    It is so simple now, the only thing I see it can get any better, is to be like McDonalds, where there is just pictures on the cash register. Come on if you are employed you must be smart enough to file your own taxes unless you have a business.
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